My Little Pocketbooks: Review: How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents   

Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents



How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
Author: Julia Alvarez
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher:  Algonquin Books
Release Date: January 12, 2010
E-book: 334 pages
Source: Free from iBooks
http://amzn.to/1JVpsQC

Book Description

The Garcías—Dr. Carlos (Papi), his wife Laura (Mami), and their four daughters, Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofía—belong to the uppermost echelon of Spanish Caribbean society, descended from the conquistadores. Their family compound adjoins the palacio of the dictator’s daughter. So when Dr. García’s part in a coup attempt is discovered, the family must flee.
They arrive in New York City in 1960 to a life far removed from their existence in the Dominican Republic. Papi has to find new patients in the Bronx. Mami, far from the compound and the family retainers, must find herself. Meanwhile, the girls try to lose themselves—by forgetting their Spanish, by straightening their hair and wearing fringed bell bottoms. For them, it is at once liberating and excruciating being caught between the old world and the new, trying to live up to their father’s version of honor while accommodating the expectations of their American boyfriends. Acclaimed writer Julia Alvarez’s brilliant and buoyant first novel sets the García girls free to tell their most intimate stories about how they came to be at home—and not at home—in America.

Review

This book was offered for free by iBooks and I got it because of the price and because I saw it on a few book blogs here and there.
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents tells the story of four sisters -Carla, Sandra, Yolanda and Sofía Garcia growing up and into their new American lives.  The girls went from the high society of a large extended Dominican family to the lower middle class of New York city during the 60's.  Each chapter was told by one of the girls and starts with them post college and goes back into time until each are young children playing with their cousins in the Dominican Republic.
Overall the story has tons of potential but something was missing.  Honestly, I can't tell you what it was.  There are some great stories here and there by the girls.  I think I just didn't have any connection with any of them and was looking for something interesting to happen.  I just wanted more overall.  The characters were not memorable but the odd stories were.  There was no great climax but more a series of short stories that really didn't have a great connection.  For me the author kept going off on tangents within the story and it became a bit annoying.  One minute, one of the sisters is telling the reader about a fun experience she had then in the middle of it all she is talking about her mother.  Then back on the story.
But you know what I loved.  The ending.  I know that might sound bad but listen to me first.  The last chapter was the best chapter in the book.  The story flowed really well and was cute.  It left a good taste in my brain.  Hence, the two stars. 

Reviews by Other Bloggers

Recommendations

I recommend this book to older teen readers due to some sexual reference.

Challenges

This book is number 7 in my Diversity on the Shelf Reading Challenge
This book is number 9 in my New To Me Authors Reading Challenge
This book is number 3 in my Travel the World Reading Challenge
This book is number 13 in my Goodreads Reading Challenge 

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